Gregson didn’t know why men had to hit each other, to love each other. He swung his left-handed haymaker at the lumberjack’s face, breaking Brad’s beautiful bone structure, like a freight train crumpling a Mercedes coup into an aluminum can on the railroad tracks. Brad’s jaw popped-out of its socket into a sideways smile.

“Is that all you got?” He blathered while hugging the wooden floor.

“What’s the matter—you can’t get enough wood?” Gregson asked.

“No, I’ve had enough. Bring me a drink and some pain killers.”

The music, dancing, jokes, and laughter had stopped, and now it started again, like an off-beat merry-go-round.

“Say Brad, has this town had any visitors, besides us, in the last few months?” Gregson asked.

“Are you kidding? Lots of city guys come-out here to feel rustic. Look over there. There’s two of them now.

Gregson glanced at the non-smoking section.

One of the guys was fat, wearing a white shirt with a pen-holder in his pocket. He looked like an engineer, working on a heart attack. The other one was skinny and short. There wasn’t much happening there. His beady eyes looked like cigarette ash.

“Let’s go listen to their conversation,” Gregson said.

“Why?” Tanya asked.

“Because their boring clothes cover-up who they really are, and I want to find-out.”

“What is it, you said that you do?” Brad asked.

“I didn’t. Enjoy your beer,” Gregson said. “And sorry for rearranging your face.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Tanya and Gregson ordered some pretzels and looked into each other’s eyes like lovers.

“What are they saying now?” She asked.

“Stop talking, and you can hear them.”

“I can’t.”

“The fat one hates his boss. He wants to murder him, slowly. The skinny one sympathizes. He hates filing paperwork. They like to play video games together.”

“I see,” Tanya said.

“They know Dubious.”

“What’s your next move?”

“I’m going to talk to them.”

Gregson didn’t look like an engineer—more like a 50-year-old teenager who never got a job.

“Can I join you fellows for a drink?” He asked.

“It’s a free country,” the fat man said.

“Sorry lads, but this is Canada,” Gregson corrected. “Why did you come out to the sticks?”

“Who wants to know?” The skinny guy sniveled.

“I’m Gregson. I took a permanent sabbatical from my job when I set fire to my boss’s desk. He wanted me to work on the weekends. I didn’t realize how much of a caged animal I was. I needed to get back to nature—connect with my primitive roots—kill some meat—cook it—survive.”

“You’re in the same sinking boat that we are,” the fat man said. “I’m Tom. This is Randy. We were internet pen pals who got fed-up with work, and decided to connect in real life.”

“What do you do?” Gregson asked Tom.

“I don’t do anything, but I used to work for Microsoft. It made me soft. It’s a trickle-down culture, with the richest man in the world pissing on everybody else. Nobody wants to be like him, despite him, having all the money. That’s when I realized I had to get hard, and I came out here.”

“What do you do?” Gregson asked Randy.

“I used to work for the post office.”

“Did you leave anybody alive?”

“Very funny. They’re not alive. Something happens to them after the first week. The fire in their eyes goes black. I came out here to kill, to get my mojo back.”

“You just gave me chills,” Gregson said.

5 thoughts on “Chapter 7 The Fire in their Eyes Goes Black

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